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9 minutes ago, thrifty said:

coleman, I'd rather not say what lodge just to be discrete but we are by the Great Lakes.  I've never rolled up like a cocoon in a rain fly before.  I will advise my scout that he may need to do that.  I agree that the tough stuff is what I always remember.  I've always enjoyed this quote, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."  I have had my share of challenges in life and they have all made me stronger, even the ones that almost killed me.

He plays it cool and laid back about everything but he let out a little squeak of excitement when he got the email.   The wife and I are hoping OA will renew his interest in scouting.  His troop focuses on T21 and reaching First Class so as the scouts get older there is not as much interesting stuff being done.  There are a few other scouts in OA and a few leaders elected as adults but OA is never discussed except at election time.  We don't know how active the lodge is but I'm willing to drive him to meetings and campouts to learn more.  The challenge for us will be to get him out of his comfort zone and meet new friends at OA instead of just the friends he already has in the troop.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

The OA can be an awesome opportunity for the Scout that is open to new experiences, working with Scouts beyond their home troop/town, and particularly likes the leadership training aspects of Scouting.  If your son is in a troop that is not doing much beyond "the same old, same old", he should find some opportunities to meet other Scouts in the same boat, and want to do more.  Your sons experience sounds similar to mine- when my son got elected, he really didn't know what the OA was, as he never saw it in action or discussed in the troop.  As an Arrowman myself, I could explain it, but experiencing it himself opened his eyes.  The OA High Adventure opportunities are great offerings for those types of youth.  I wish him the best of luck, and as others said- bring the items to the Ordeal, and ask questions at the registration.  They will let him know if the items will need to stay in the pack until Saturday or not.  

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Here's hoping that the ceremonies are done well,  that he takes the 4 challenges seriously,  that he is mature enough to perceive that they are mere representations of the 4 inner challenges, the real Ordeal.

On a practical note  a large trash bag on the bottom end of a sleeping bag is a great way to keep it dry if the rain is slanting down hard.  Naturally you want your head on the lee side of the wind.

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10 x 12 tarp, rope, stakes.  Clean an area of ground from sticks, rocks etc. (especially those etcs.  they can be mean...) . Lay tarp out and stake down the 10' side, and 4 ' wide. Fold over the remainder, two tallish stakes, 3' high. rope stretch out the tarp, fold over again the remaining 5' to cover the original 4' on the ground, two more 3' tallish  poles, stake and rope and pegs,  voila, shelter for your bag, and pack.  Groundcloth, tent in one.

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